Who needs yields, anyway? (Breitburn Energy Partners LP)

September 27, 2009

Some of you may recognize our old friend the yield hog from the Windstream article, but we should ask ourselves what a dividend signifies. For bonds, yields are typically all we get, but for stocks? True, a big dividend yield will amortize our margin balance if we choose to buy on margin, but as Seth […]


Bank Failures and Bank Successes (Great Southern Bancorp)

September 23, 2009
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According to the news, the FDIC’s insurance fund is in danger of being totally drained. The article’s author speaks of several strategies that can be used to shore it up, which is borrowing money from banks, from the government, or by levying a special fee on banks. The article portrays all of these as risky […]


An Unsustainable Dividend is no Dividend at all (eventually) (Calumet Specialty Products)

September 20, 2009

As you may recall, I commented on the dangers of being a yield hog, which is a constant temptation for those of us who seek investments that produce high and sustainable cash flows. Sustainable but not high is not good enough, and high but not sustainable is even worse, because when the cash flow runs […]


I’m out of Capstead Mortgage

September 17, 2009

I suppose the ideal solution for me would be to align this blog with a subscription newsletter. Telling you what to buy would be free, but telling you when to sell would cost you. Since that strikes me as a little mercenary, I’m telling you all that I’m out of CMO. If you’ll recall, I […]


Writeoff Forgiveness and Goodwill (ConocoPhillips)

September 15, 2009

Benjamin Graham wrote in Security Analysis that a great deal of financial analysis involves recasting financial reports to get a full sense of a firm’s baseline ability to produce earnings. A lot of the process involves removing nonrecurring or irrelevant events from a single year’s results, as we did with LINE’s profits on its derivatives. […]


The Danger of Stock Screeners (Linn Energy LLP)

September 9, 2009
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A stock screener is a useful toy for an investor. In most markets bargains cannot be found by checking stocks at random, and a good screen is a good way to narrow the field. However, a screen is only a first step; a poster at a forum I visit (the same one who referred me […]


The New York Times Indicator

September 7, 2009

John Maynard Keynes described speculation as essentially trying to guess what other people are going to guess, and doing it better than they guess how you’re going to guess. I think this also describes macro-level investing, i.e. allocating capital based on economic data. As I stated in my last article, focusing on a decent cash […]


Should we care about the broader market

September 2, 2009

If you have been reading the financial news since about last May, journalists have been disturbingly preoccupied with the level of the indexes, and have been calling for, say, the S & P to correct from 900, as it sailed merrily past 1000 just to spite them. One imagines that they’ve been going for the […]